Why Law Firms Need A Email Management Solution
For modern lawyers, email is a lifeline.
It provides an exact and direct line of communication, an ongoing record of those communications, a digital filing cabinet for backups of key documents, and more.
It’s instantaneous, can deliver important files, and doesn’t require the immediate attention that a phone call does.
However, as convenient as it can be, an unmanaged inbox can also be a serious distraction for workers. The average office worker gets 121 emails every single day.
It’s for all these reasons that your firm’s inboxes need to be better managed, in order to ensure they’re tidy, secure, and not a major distraction for your team.
Have you considered an email management system?
What Is An Email Management System?
An Email management system (EMS) provides firms like yours with access to a range of tools that assist with filing, security, and content filtering.
In simpler terms, an EMS ensures that only safe and necessary emails enter your inbox. Dangerous and time-wasting spam is filtered out before you even see it.
Furthermore, an EMS will help your team track, log and archive any communications of legal import, turning your ad-hoc email filing system into a robust legal document repository.
As great as that sounds, you may be wondering—how do I find the right EMS for my firm?
4 Must-Have EMS Features
BMC Networks is proud to offer a robust EMS solution. Whether you choose to work with us or not, make sure you find a solution with the following capabilities:
First and foremost, an EMS should support your team’s efforts to keep their emails organized.
This means going beyond the simple folder/file system an email client offers—BMC Networks’ EMS solution will integrate directly with your document management systems, and utilize advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to assist with filing.
Next, your EMS should help your team do what they do even better.
That means eliminating tedious tasks, integrating directly with other legal software, and fitting the work-life of the modern business world. BMC Networks’ EMS offers the following features:
Your team can automate otherwise manual tasks like tagging, distribution, filing, and storage.
You can seamlessly integrate our EMS with the other apps you rely on to ensure your team isn’t bridging the gap (and wasting their valuable time in the process).
Intuitive Email Thread Filing
You know how often an email can turn into a long and winding thread—our EMS makes it easy to file an email once and ensure every subsequent response ends up in the same place.
The modern law firm isn’t working consistently out of one office anymore. You and your team are on the go, using mobile devices and home offices to continue working when it’s convenient.
Our EMS is fully cloud-hosted, meaning you and your team can enjoy anytime, anywhere access to all files connected to the system. This makes for a more convenient user experience, and reduces processing demands on local hardware—it all happens in the cloud.
Your law firm has undoubtedly changed over time and it will change again. When you grow or reduce your staff’s size, you need your IT systems to keep up with these changes.
Our EMS is easily scaled to support your firm as you bring on new attorneys, paralegals, and other staff members. When you bring on a new staff member, you can easily bring them up to speed via the EMS’ full record of pertinent communications and documents.
Whether you opt to use our EMS or another that fits your needs, the next step will be to implement it…
5 EMS Implementation Challenges You Need To Address
The EMS implementation process can be so complex that it often vastly exceeds the scale and scope of any past projects your internal team may have handled. Without direct experience with this type of project, a team can easily underestimate the time and resources needed to see it to fruition.
Data Quality & Integration
A critical step in your EMS implementation is the migration of all your firm’s data. It forms the foundation for how effective your EMS will be.
That means having an accurate inventory of all your data, including where it is, and what it concerns. Given how detail-oriented this process is, it tends to be the most time-consuming part of the implementation.
Furthermore, you need to attend to your data quality as well. You can’t just port over all data from every department in your firm, as there will invariably be duplicates of files that are used by more than one user or team. That means addressing your “data hygiene” as well, ensuring there are no duplicates, that files are named properly, and more.
Adopting an EMS involves more than your data—it also affects your users. In order to harness the full range of advantages offered by the solution, you need to change the way your staff operates. This means adapting and developing new business processes and training your team to engage fully with the new system.
In relation to project management, it’s important that you budget for more than you may think you need. EMS can go past deadline and over budget. When this happens, firms tend to enlist expert third-party support, which comes at an even great expense. When planning out your implementation, make sure to give yourself room to operate.
It’s important that you understand that implementing an EMS effectively is not a one-time thing. While you may finally succeed in launching an EMS for your firm at the start, the system needs careful maintenance and management in the long term as well.
What’s The Most Important Factor In The Successful Implementation Of An EMS?
The highest priority in any EMS implementation is understanding how it integrates with your organization. You need to consult everyone who will interact with the system and document each and everything they will do with the system. That allows you to pinpoint the most important considerations, and migrate successfully.
EMS implementations often fail because the organization either didn’t know or failed to communicate their needs, or had unrealistic expectations about the implementation or legacy data migration. That’s why analysis and information gathering are so important.
Need Expert Advice on Email Management Solutions?
BMC Networks is here to help— we are familiar with all of the solutions used by Canadian law firms, and can share our experience working with the vendors and applications. By evaluating your needs and intended uses, we can help you narrow down the list of potential choices. And when you select a solution and an application consultant, we can work with that consultant to implement the necessary IT changes, and help support your firm’s use of that solution going forward.
Get in touch with our team to get started.